The European Commission approves the list of syntaxes for the electronic invoicing

syntaxes for the electronic invoicing

The European Commission has published the official syntax list for the development and implementation of e-Invoicing based on the Assessment of the European Standard on electronic invoicing, according to Directive 2014/55/EU. The document can be read here.

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) was asked to develop this e-Invoicing standard and to carry out the corresponding tests. The two approved syntaxes are:

  • UN/CEFACT Cross Industry Invoice XML message as specified in XML Schemas 16B (SCRDM — CII).
  • UBL invoice and credit note messages as defined in ISO/IEC 19845:2015.

How will it impact on businesses?

The main goal of this European framework is to guarantee the semantic interoperability. The benefits of electronic invoicing are maximized when the generation, sending, transmission, reception and processing of an invoice can be fully automated.

Many of the European Union Member States have already implemented e-Invoicing of a compulsory nature between the public sector and its suppliers, with the aim of simplifying tax compliance and cutting economic costs. This is the case of Spain, Portugal, Italy, or France. However, in each of these countries, the technical and legal requirements of this model are different, so interoperability between the states poses a challenge.

Read the complete article here.

EDI for SMEs: Basic solutions to create competitive advantages

EDI for SMEs

The use of EDI technology has always been related to large and multinational companies. However, with the advancement of digitalization, and the technological transformation of companies globally, EDI is recognized as a technology that serves the purposes of optimization and process efficiency in any type of company.

Today the ability to exchange business documents electronically has become a necessity for companies of any size. Many large North American distributors and retailers already require their suppliers to utilize EDI technology in order to communicate electronically and integrate orders, dispatch advices and invoices into their management systems. This demand is one step closer to digital business transformation, which benefits even smaller companies and especially those that don’t want to miss opportunities to do business with large retailers such as Wal-mart, P&G, Carrefour, etc…. For retailers, fully integrating electronic business documents has huge advantages and benefits. Therefore, it is becoming a requirement if their suppliers want to work with them.

Implementing and EDI project for an SME

Implementing an EDI project can seem long and costly, but the medium-term advantages are remarkable and include optimizing business processes and making communication more efficient throughout the supply chain. In addition, for small and medium-sized companies, it means getting ahead of potential competitors and generating more business opportunities with distributors who are demanding to work with EDI. Therefore, solutions and possibilities exist for these companies so that they can use EDI in a more economic way that’s best adapted to their needs.

Depending on the volume of transactions and messages exchanged with a company’s partners, there are basic solutions available, such as Web EDI, which enables low cost and rapid deployment. All you need is an Internet connection. The different messages will be built through simple data input screens with simple Web forms and sent securely to the destination in the required EDI format. With this EDI web solution an SME can manage all their EDI communications easily.

Contact us to know more about the implementation.

Advantages of Working with EDI for SMEs

  • Cloud-based: At EDICOM, we offer our services in SaaS mode, software as a service hosted in the cloud, so companies don’t need to develop or implement costly on-premise solutions or take care of maintaining or upgrading the platform.
  • Web-EDI: This is a modality with a fast turnaround and a minimum economic cost designed for companies that exchange low volumes of documents. The data from the documents is loaded manually in simple forms along with the information required by the distributor. These forms are transformed into structured documents that will be automatically integrated into the recipient’s ERP.
  • Financial savings: EDI completely eliminates paper processing in companies. Furthermore, it protects the environment because companies don’t have to use paper or printers, and manual processing is eliminated. In addition, everything is stored in the cloud guaranteeing security and confidentiality.
  • Instantaneous: Documents are received and processed instantly, therefore shortening the collection cycle for small and medium businesses that may need to receive payments in less time than large retailers.

EDI as a competitive advantage for SMEs

Once an EDI solution is implemented, a company will be able to connect with any company that requires it, since these solutions are completely scalable at a global level. In addition, as a company increases the volume of documents to be exchanged or requires new connections, the solution will be able to adapt to new processes.

Digital transformation is a reality that affects all of the players in international trade. Therefore, the adoption of new technologies can affect the growth of companies that are lagging behind their competitors.

Getting on board with digital transformation will no longer be an option. Soon it will become an obligation. Companies that begin to make the choice to commit to the new technologies are those that will adapt to and improve their business processes at an international level.

Find out how EDI can help your business.

EDI Academy – EDI Mapping: The electronic data translator

EDI Academy

In previous issues of EDI Academy we discussed the different formats and protocols that may be used in electronic data interchange. For the relationship between the two partners to take place in an automated and secure manner, it is necessary to transform the files into a common standard, which assimilates the sender and recipient IT systems. But how is this transformation process carried out? How is it possible to convert any document into a standardized message?

To achieve this aim, it is necessary to perform a translation of the data structures. We shall have to adapt any proprietary file (in csv format, txt, idoc, etc.) to an XML/EDI format (EDIFACT, X21, XML, VDA, TRADACOM, etc.) and vice versa. This way we ensure that the corporate ERP or internal management system will be able to integrate the data automatically, so that the user can easily access them.

What is EDI Mapping?

EDI Mapping is the data mapper or, what is the same, the translator that transforms the structures of the files into the standardized formats that enable an EDI relationship.

The IT engineers from EDICOM’s R+D+i laboratory have developed an application which not only translates the data into the standard required by each partner, but also does so in a way that is immediate and transparent for the user. This is the EbiMap tool (Edicom Business Integrator Mapping Tool).

How does EbiMap work?

This application is part of the EDICOM B2B Cloud Platform and is managed by a team of technicians to ensure that the transformation process is successful.

This is how EbiMap works:

  • Corporate users work from their own ERP and select the documents they want to exchange with their trading partner.
  • Automatically, the EDICOM platform recognises the recipient system and translates the files into a standard accepted by the receiving ERP. The process is immediate and invisible to the user.
  • The recipient receives the documents directly in their ERP, where they are integrated into the internal management system.

In the opposite communication direction, EbiMap also acts transparently when a new document arrives, transforming and integrating it into the system.

What are the advantages of data mapping?

Translating the data structures is crucial for the EDI relationship to run smoothly and to take advantage of all the benefits this technology can provide for companies.

EbiMap’s main advantages are:

  • As the tool works unassisted and is a universal data mapper, the user can communicate with any partner without difficulties or added tasks.
  • EbiMap adapts to the EDI or e-invoicing solution from EDICOM, which in turn is integrated with the ERP or in-house management system. This way, company workers have no need to modify their working processes or handle new environments.
  • Control and validation. In addition to translating the data, the application includes tools which validate the content and structures of documents sent or received. The aim is to detect any possible mistakes or inconsistencies in the information.
  • Multi-standard. EbiMap can handle multiple data structures and versions of the same message. This makes it an ideal tool for e-commerce with all types of trading partners, regardless of the activity sector, company size or location.

EDI for logistics operators: A solution adapted to Global Trade

EDI for Logistics Operators

In countries where economically unstable conditions exist, exports are a way of escape and opportunity for many companies that manage to maintain active businesses and sometimes even allow them to grow. However, in order to export goods it is sometimes necessary to adapt to and prepare necessary logistical and communication flows. For companies that export large volumes of products, the most important challenges to adapt to are those posed by the international market.

Participating in logistics at the international level requires more complex processes, specialized software, facilities and transportation. It is difficult for companies to manage all of these processes. That’s why they have the support of a logistics operator. The logistics operator is in charge of designing and implementing the processes of one or various stages of the supply chain.

One of the challenges logistics operators face is speeding up the exchange of information among supply chain actors. For this reason, EDI has become a standardized and sectorial solution, which allows companies to have automated and universal systems for exchanging information. Logistics operators that must send and receive information instantly with a multitude of collaborators from all over the world find EDI to be a great ally that allows them to face any technological barrier, and it also makes companies more competitive.

How to adapt to EDI flows globally?

It should be noted that EDI’s expansion varies from region to region. In the United States and Europe, it is widespread and in continuous demand while in regions like Latin America and Asia, its use is growing little by little since large multinationals are starting to demand it from their suppliers.

Logistics operators must have an EDI service provider capable of adapting to any requirement and need on a global level.

EDICOM’s platform meets these four requirements that guarantee interoperability with any global partner:

  • Multi-standard solution. In the United States, the main standard is X12 and in Europe it’s EDIFACT. However, some standards are specific to some sectors such as ODETTE for the automotive sector. It is important that the platform have a mapping module capable of transforming any structure to the standard language required by the partner.
  • Data integration. EDICOM’s solution integrates with the ERP or internal management system of the company. In this way it becomes possible to maintain internal work processes.
  • Secure connectivity. Commercial communications contain confidential information, and it’s important to ensure that this information reaches the recipient safely. That’s why it’s convenient to use a value added communication network that guarantees security and confidentiality.
  • Global trade opens the door to increasing business with multiple countries and regions. Our solution will adapt to the requirements of any region, not only at the EDI level but also through other value added B2B solutions such as electronic invoicing platforms.

EDI solutions designed by EDICOM, the global leader in electronic data interchange, guarantee connectivity with any partner or business, regardless of the standard utilized or communication process used. To find out more about them, consult our team of experts through the contact form.

The EU-funded initiative Govein launches its second project, GOV2EU

Govein

The European e-Invoicing initiative Govein has launched its second project called GOV2EU. A kick-off meeting at EDICOM’s headquarters in Valencia on October 3rd, 2017 shows that the implementation of the project is underway. The Govein initiative aims at enhancing e-Invoicing among the public administrations to ease the adoption of the e-Invoicing Regulation which comes into force in November 2018.

For the GOV2EU phase, 24 participants have joined this EU-funded project framed within Europe’s CEF TELECOM e-Invoicing initiative, coming from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Italy.

At this kick-off meeting, best practices from the first Govein project and experiences about EDI in the public sector were shared. The timeline and planning for the first actions were also set, which begin with the roll out of the technical tasks by EDICOM in order to implement the required solution.

Also, specific meetings with every participant were carried out by our experts so that our Project Managers could explain in detail the launching of their technical tasks. For each participant in the consortium, EDICOM will implement a multi-syntax solution able to handle e-Invoicing in multiple standards, according to the needs of each participant and the specifications detailed in the European regulation, in order to achieve semantically interoperable electronic documents in the EU scope.

Through these projects, the implementation costs of European Electronic Invoicing will be subsidized in accordance with the requirements set for both in Directive 2014/55/EU and in European Regulation eIDAS.

By the end of 2018 and before the entry into force of the Directive, these 24 participants will be able to use an integrated e-Invoicing solution, automated with their ERP and their invoicing processes with their suppliers.

After having this solution implemented, it will be much easier and faster for these public administrations to extend the use of the EDI solution to not just receiving invoices, but also to send orders and receive other commercial documents exchanged with suppliers. All this, with the goal of making communications between businesses more efficient, immediate and secure.

Timeline of the projects led by EDICOM:

About Govein

Govein is an R+D+i initiative designed to encourage development of e-Invoicing in the European Public Sector, and particularly in the healthcare scope. We must remember that next year Directive 2014/55/EU comes into force for all member states. This regulation requires the use of e-invoicing in public procurement through a common European standard ensuring interoperability.

EDICOM, as Certification Authority and qualified trust service provider, is responsible for managing and leading the project, with the support of European Management Consulting EMC. To this end, they have developed a multi-standard solution, which integrates with corporate ERPs and follows the specifications of the new European regulation and the PEPPOL standard for exchanging messages with public administrations.